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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Our community is still divided

from:  Narayan T Rao narayan.t.rao@gmail.com date: 6 March 2012 22:16 subject: reply to Shri Ranganath's response to the Declaration 12:33 PM 6:37 PM
4. The largest threat before is the tolerance, nay the protection and support to those who find fault with the Guru, within the community. This is more than a threat—it has the potential to destroy the institution..
I have only one quote to show how threatened the writer of this statement is, Swa bhabha swa dhama:
“Being part of Sri Aurobindo's truth and manifested by me, there is no power on the earth or any where else in space or time that can destroy or dissolve the ashram of the Lord, Sri Aurobindo. Such vain posturings by small minds are merely amusing." The Mother 
5.      Is there is a good reason for not communicating with the rest of the members
The response to this is, of course. I get a feeling that the writer is implying that he should, at least, be consulted!
6. & 7.  That is why it has been suggested that openness and a larger body be involved in a consultative process.
The numbers of Trustees has been decided by the Mother. When it came to the P.E.D, it was a one-man show. Did it ever occur to anyone why, one did not react to this one-man format? Then, was one always agreeable with the decision taken by our dear, benevolent, dictator of P.E.D.? Today there are committees in place to help the Trust board in its administration long before, this suggestion was given, to induct more people in the to help the board: agriculture committee, construction committee, house maintenance committee, Sri Aurobindo Udyog Trust, a three man committee and many more… Thus, there are I believe, more than a few hundred people  already involved, in helping the Trust board by giving their feed-back and suggestions for better functionality of the Ashram.
8. Whether in writing or not, this statement is sure perfectly befitting human beings at least. This applies also to a person before being chosen as a Trustee because… “All humans are imperfect, and the trustees claim no exception” from the DeclarationThis statement was meant as a general thought and easily digestible saying. Trustees are just administrators.
9. The guidance is received in proportion to the purity and receptivity of the individual. 
Anybody, following the words of our Gurus is doing Their work, be it a coolie in a railway station, or an inmate working in a department of Ashram or an individual trustee working for the Ashram Trust Board. The aim of the individual determines the direction one takes in life. “The Mother will guide them and lead them in the right direction” from the Declaration. If we look at the present situation honestly, when the signature drama took place a few years back, people reassured themselves that they were in the right path by signing a letter, seeing our respected  Pranab da's signature on it. This was the divide. I  do not know who guided whom and the beginning of confusions within oneself began.  Our community is still divided. I went to Pranab da with a letter, asking him his explanations. He gave me his personal  reasons, for doing, what he  did, justifying his action. […] Manas   

4.  The largest threat is the tolerance, nay the protection and support to those who find fault with the Guru, within the community. This is more than a threat—it has the potential to destroy the institution. This cannot be envisaged in the Ashram as tolerable.  There are any number of cases where both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have acted against individuals who had these tendencies. There are even letters that testify to this fact, apart from information in many cases.
5.  This is what many senior members like us are asking for, “all the data in any given case” Why is there no transparency, no openness? Is there a good reason for not communicating with the rest of the members?
6.  Best interests? How to know what that is? Can there be no difference of opinion in this matter? Is it in the best interests of the Ashram to act in such a manner that it attracts innumerable court cases? Is it in the BEST interest of the Ashram to keep the Police happy and supportive of the management in every case, whatever the merit of the case? Is it in the interest of the Ashram to get a member of the Ashram arrested by the police in a surreptitious manner? Can the management claim that their actions have been always in the best interest of the Ashram? One may argue that another management may also err and take decisions that may go against the Ashram. That is why it has been suggested that openness and a larger body be involved in a consultative process.
7. But this is precisely what the present management is doing by NOT discussing  issues with the others of the community, who may have better ideas and solutions to problems that have cropped up. The final decision can always be taken by the competent authority whoever that may be, but why not get the issues discussed in a larger forum? Why claim exclusive right over the final decisions without any wider consultations?
8.  When the trustees state in writing that they have been placed by Providence in their present position and they need not consult anybody, are they not claiming precisely that?
9.  The Mother is guiding only the trustees? She is not guiding the others? And guidance is one thing and understanding the guidance and acting according to it is another matter altogether. The guidance is received in proportion to the purity and receptivity of the individual. And when a trustee himself admits to being “confused”, can it be claimed that the guidance is received perfectly?

www.ashramite.com We are all aware that the twin objective of every Ashramite is to practise his or her individual sadhana, and to work in one of the departments as per the Mother's guidelines. The Ashram Trust has done nothing to deny or hamper either of these interconnected aims. None can say that the environment in the Ashram is not conducive to or does not facilitate the practice of their own sadhana. That should be our primary concern.
The need of the hour is calmness and a spirit of tolerance and mutual respect. This is not the time to bicker over the details of policy, or to let personal grudges and differences of opinion dictate our course of action. The larger threat looming before us must take precedence. We may or may not agree with every decision that the trustees take. Had we been in their position, we may well have done things differently. At the same time we recognize the complexity involved in any decision-making process, and that it is easy to sit in judgement on others. In every institution it is those who have all the pertinent facts readily at hand who are best positioned to determine the eventual course of action that could be followed. Without access to all the inputs that go into a decision, whatever be the issue at stake, one's view always risks being partial and one-sided. The Mother has structured Her institution in such a way that it is the trustees' job to take decisions, and we must allow them the freedom to do so with the best interests of the Ashram in mind. We have indeed the right to express our opinions, but no right to insist that only our views are correct and have to be implemented, else how are we any better than those we stridently criticize? All humans are imperfect, and the trustees claim no exception. But we must trust that they are working sincerely to the best of their abilities, and that through all the struggles and successes, stumblings and advances, the Mother will guide them and lead them in the right direction so that ultimately Her work is carried out and Her goals achieved.
Those who are currently opposing the Ashram consist of a range of figures. Some genuinely believe they are fighting for a cause. Others may have innocently got carried away by rhetoric or unwittingly allowed themselves to become pawns in a game they do not fully comprehend. There might even be a few elements with axes to grind or repressed personal ambitions. Some of us may see merit in some of the specific points these people raise. But all these distinctions and arguments are irrelevant here. What matters is that we place on record that we disagree with the legal challenges to the Ashram, with attempts at mass protests and dharnas, with threats and ultimatums and forced interventions. These were never the Mother's methods. In other words, whatever one's views on individual issues, litigation and seeking removal of the trustees is not the way to go. […]

from: Narayan T Rao narayan.t.rao@gmail.com date: 7 March 2012 19:34 Shri Tusar Babu,
thank you for posting my message, I got a few responses to the post saying that the full message isnt posted. I subsequently checked it myself.. Kindly create a link to the complete message or preferably include the complete message on this page itself.
thanks in advance and please continue this selfless work, which is highly appreciated in the Aurobindonian community. Kind regards Narayan T. Rao

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